France is a largely rural country at the heart of Western Europe. The capital city is Paris, a must-visit towards the north of the country. If you hire a car in France, you'll be able to see how the landscape varies from the flat cultivated farmland of the north to mountainous regions in the south. Because it faces the Atlantic, the English Channel and the Mediterranean, France is home to some of Europe's most varied coastal attractions: from the rugged rocky shores of Brittany to the long sands of Aquitaine, and from the pretty coves of Cote D'Azur to the bracing sand dunes of Normandy.
If hiring a car in France, it's possible to drive from one end of the country to the other in a day. You'll find Paris is the biggest city ' and biggest single attraction, thanks to its largely intact old city centre, romantic atmosphere and classic sights like the Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, Notre Dame and Palace of Versailles. The glamorous French Riviera has a different appeal: sun and style. Resorts like Nice, Cannes and St Tropez are where the rich and famous take Mediterranean holidays. And the French Alps appeal to more energetic visitors. Crowned by Western Europe's highest peak, Mont Blanc, they are full of resorts catering for both winter sports and summer holidays.
Traffic drives on the right-hand side of the road in France. In lane driving, however, you are allowed to overtake on the left or right. At junctions, you must be prepared to give way to vehicles approaching from the right, unless signs indicate otherwise. The maximum speed limit is 130kph (81mph) on rural motorways but this reduces to 110kph (68mph) if it is raining and 50kph (31mph) in thick fog. Urban motorways and dual carriageways have a set of lower limits, which are different again for other roads. Built-up areas normally have a blanket limit of 50kph (31mph).